June 24, 2007

House of Prayer

Isaiah 56:1-8

"My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." Isaiah 56:7


God has called his house a house of prayer. It's a place where his children gather to pay and pray. They pay homage, and they offer prayers. They enter into conversation with God.

Prayer is the heartbeat of every vibrant congregation. God hears the prayers of his people when they come with broken and contrite hearts. The prayers of God's servants rise to the heavens and drift as sweet incense into the nostrils of a loving Father.

Prayers are not simply times of requesting or even pleading with God. They are conversations in which God is adored, sins are confessed, thanksgivings are lifted up, and petitions are offered. When God's people come in humble adoration and honestly and openly confess their unworthiness, God hears and answers from his heavenly throne.

On the other hand, when people come before God with an attitude of pride or a sense of entitlement, the conversation quickly comes to an end. All too often churches only approach God when they are unable to make it on their own. Then prayer is a last resort.

Prayer--conversation with God--is at its best when humble people come into God's presence like children who come to their Father--in love, adoration, trust, and dependence.

Father, we adore you; we confess we are undeserving; we thank you for your grace and lift our needs before you--for you alone are our help and provision. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Jerry Dykstra

Pastor Jerry Dykstra was recently appointed as the executive director of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. After a 15-year career in business, he trained for pastoral ministry and served as the pastor of Cascade Fellowship CRC, Cascade, Michigan, and Faith Christian Fellowship CRC, Walnut Creek, California. He and his wife, Linda, live in Byron Center, Michigan, and have three children and seven grandchildren.

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